Summit and Eagle counties see significant increases in second home purchases, survey finds

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Published Friday, October 8, 2021
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - Summit and Eagle counties have seen significant increases in second home purchases over the last year, according to a new survey from Pacaso, a California-based real estate co-ownership company.

While second home transactions have slowed overall in the 50 counties across the country that were included in the survey, Summit and Eagle counties were two of just four counties included to see year-over-year growth, which the survey measures in terms of mortgage rate locks. Kauai County, Hawaii, and Boise County, Idaho, were the only two other counties in the survey that also saw growth in transactions.

Pacaso CEO Austin Allison, a former Zillow executive, said the data is "critical to understanding the housing market" because of "pandemic-driven shifts that have allowed people greater flexibility around where they live and work."

In Summit County, home to Breckenridge, year-over-year second home transactions increased 10.2%, with 60% share of second home rate locks, according to the survey. The median purchase price for second homes in the county was $821,000, up 30.5% from last year.

In Eagle County, home to Vail, year-over-year second home transactions increased 9.8%, with 30.1% share of second home rate locks, according to the survey. The median purchase price for second homes in the county was $975,000, up 43.3% from last year.

Other Colorado mountain destinations included in the survey saw their second home transactions decline significantly, but median purchase prices were still higher compared to last year.

Gunnison County, home to Crested Butte, saw a 41.3% decline in second home transactions year-over-year, but the median purchase price for second homes in the county was $780,000, up 53.2%. 

Grand County, where Winter Park is located, had a 24.2% decrease in second home transactions, while the median purchase price was $695,000, almost a 21% increase.

Archuleta County, home to Pagosa Springs, saw its second home transaction rate decrease by more than 53%, but the county's average purchase price increased by 22.6% up to $492,000, according to the survey.

In Routt County, home to Steamboat Springs, second home transactions decreased by 37.5%, but the average home purchase price increased 45.5% up to more than $749,000.

Allison said the survey's data is evidence that the housing market "has completely changed" over the last two or three years.

"It used to be that major metros were the primary hotbeds of real estate activity, and now we are seeing double-digit price growth across the entire U.S., and intense interest in second homes in places like Boise, Idaho, and Eagle County up in the Colorado Rockies," Allison said.

"This widespread demand is creating a new wave of second home markets with more moderate median home prices but the same types of amenities and outdoor recreation options typical of their more famous counterparts," he added.

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